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HIST 2905 Feb 24, 2014.docx

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HIST 2904
Greg Fisher

Political equilibrium? •No major disasters •But problems in East and North o Different groups challenged Romans •Britain - 10% Imperial army (huge percentage for relatively insignificant and far away place •Germans - after mid 3rd c- turning into a new threat •Already turning into a huge threat o Goths, Franks, Quadi, Alamanni ("tough guys"), Marcomanni •Lower - Danube: 13 legions (roughly 1/3rd) - very dangerous •Eastern end: o Sarmatians, Lazyges, Alans o And in the east: Iran •Over the couple of centuries, we have barbarians that turn into alternative Romans, take over from the Romans in the centre into the West o Transfer of power from the Roman Empire to Goths, Franks, etc. • Starts to happen in early 3rd century •Persia and Syria o Only really organized state o Tied down 10 legions o Ongoing war- direct and around edges o Axum, Armenia, Iberia (Georgia), Yemen •Confrontation between the militants sucks everyone in o Kingdom of Ethiopia gets sucked in •Threat: o Nationalist o Monarchy o Institutions o Religious (form of Zoroastrianism) •In Iran there were new religions as well o Buddhism o Judaism o Manicheans - 241-275 - Mani crucified o Around the edges • Himyar (Yemen) (Christian/Jewish/None) • Axum (Ethiopia) (Christian) -> by the reign of Constantine o When it becomes Christian it becomes tied to politics • Will become important in context of third century politics and crisis • But in all of this - form a political equilibrium punctuated by periods of violence • What could change it? • Remember Marcus Aurelius?  How could the Empire manage pressure on all sides simultaneously?  235: Killers of Severus: Iranians AND Alamanni at once  Preview of the world to come • Goths and Franks are marauded into Athens • Romans are unable to protect their boundaries •1) - A new crisis 235-260 o Maximinus Thrax • Non Romans may have access to greatness in the Roman state now • Half-soldier, half barbarian, all madman • Joined the army, rose in the ranks and had completed the Roman dream  Rumoured to have bitten up the heads of enemies and drank their bloods  Orchastrated the murder of Severus Alexander  Set up his son as Caesar to set up a dynasty • Alamanni in E, Sarmatians • How to fund?  After Severus' campaigns, they were bankrupt, how would they fight off this vast invasion? • Massive taxation in order to plug the hole in the empire's finances • This was so unpopular and repressive that in Algeria, a procurator was lynched (murdered) because they refused to pay their taxes • Murders had a big ambition:  Proclaimed proconsul of Africa -> Emperor • To go up against Maximinus Thrax o New emperor: Gordian O o And son: Gordian II • He wants to set up a dynasty as well  He had support from third Augustan  But the support evaporated • There was a bloodbath and GI and GII were erased  Maximinus is still alive • During this time, there are as many as 7-8 emperors at the same time • War within the Empire and around it o Maximinus Thrax • Meanwhile, in Italy: Senatrs vs. Maximinus  Senate steps up against Maximinus, do not like his tax reform and are pissed off because he is from humble beginnings, not a real Roman because partially Barbarian • Disposed him; rallied him • Pupienus is levitated next to Balbinus  Maximunus still leads a large army and invades Italy, but is killed in battle  The Soldiers went up against Pupienus and Balbinus • They were killed  Who's next? • Gordian III becomes the new Proconsul of Africa • Gordian III 238 - 244  Grandson of Gordian II  Acceptable to Senate  And soldiers - because of Timistheus  Is able to win favour with the soldiers because of his links to the Praetorian prefects  Can win support and hold it • Timistheus becomes defacto emp
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